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Friday, October 10, 2014

ScienceDaily: Top Health News

ScienceDaily: Top Health News

College athletes in contact sports more likely to carry MRSA, study finds

Posted: 09 Oct 2014 08:27 AM PDT

Even if they don't show signs of infection, college athletes who play football, soccer and other contact sports are more likely to carry the superbug methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. This puts them at higher risk for infection and increases the likelihood of spreading the bug, which can cause serious and even fatal infections.

Effect of antibiotic susceptibility for patients with bloodstream infection

Posted: 09 Oct 2014 08:27 AM PDT

In an analysis of more than 8,000 episodes of Staphylococcus aureus bloodstream infections, there were no significant differences in the risk of death when comparing patients exhibiting less susceptibility to the antibiotic vancomycin to patients with more vancomycin susceptible strains of S. aureus, according to a study.

Drinking decaf or regular coffee maybe good for the liver

Posted: 09 Oct 2014 08:26 AM PDT

Researchers report that decaffeinated coffee drinking may benefit liver health. Results show that higher coffee consumption, regardless of caffeine content, was linked to lower levels of abnormal liver enzymes. This suggests that chemical compounds in coffee other than caffeine may help protect the liver.

Cellular 'power grid' failure triggers abnormal heart rhythms after a heart attack

Posted: 09 Oct 2014 07:09 AM PDT

Heart attack survivors often experience dangerous heart rhythm disturbances during treatment designed to restore blood flow to the injured heart muscle, a common and confounding complication of an otherwise lifesaving intervention. Now researchers working with rat heart cells have shown that such post-heart attack arrhythmias are likely triggered by something akin to a power grid failure inside the injured cardiac cells.

Investigation into GI scope-related infections changes national guidelines

Posted: 09 Oct 2014 07:09 AM PDT

National guidelines for the cleaning of certain gastrointestinal scopes are likely to be updated due to findings from an infection prevention team. Approximately 11 million gastrointestinal endoscopies are performed annually in the U.S. and contaminated scopes have been linked to more hospital-acquired infections than any other type of medical device.

Programs to improve hand hygiene reduced infections, increased compliance

Posted: 09 Oct 2014 07:09 AM PDT

Hospital infection prevention teams have improved hand washing and sanitizing compliance at the hospital to nearly 100 percent among clinical staff through accountability and educational measures. In a separate effor, rates of a deadly infection were reduced by educating patients about hand hygiene.

Coastal living boosts physical activity, study shows

Posted: 09 Oct 2014 07:09 AM PDT

People who live close to the coast are more likely to meet physical activity guidelines than inland dwellers, finds a new study. The research involved participants from across England and describes a particularly noticeable effect on western -- but unexpectedly not eastern -- coasts of the nation.

The mathematics behind the Ebola epidemic

Posted: 09 Oct 2014 07:09 AM PDT

Researchers have calculated new benchmark figures to precisely describe the Ebola epidemic in West Africa from a mathematical perspective. Their results may help health authorities to contain the epidemic.

Intracranial stents: More strokes than with drug treatment alone

Posted: 09 Oct 2014 07:09 AM PDT

Patients who, after a stroke, not only receive medications, but also stent implantation in their blood vessels in the brain, have another stroke considerably more often. This is probably caused by mechanical manipulation during stent implantation, researchers say.

Dads, not just moms, battle balancing work, family, exercise

Posted: 09 Oct 2014 07:08 AM PDT

Fathers experience the same exercise barriers as mothers: family responsibilities, guilt, lack of support, lack of time, scheduling constraints and work, a researcher has found. Although barriers for both parents are similar, working moms reported an additional hurdle. Mothers cited work and scheduling constraints as more of a barrier than fathers. Many active fathers found time to exercise during the workday, but mothers reported fear of being judged by co-workers for leaving to workout and lack of time to freshen up after a workout.

Discovery may lead to lower doses of chemotherapy

Posted: 09 Oct 2014 06:19 AM PDT

Many cancer cells resist chemotherapy. Chemists have found a protein switch that activates resistance. The discovery opens the door for medications that will make tumors more sensitive to chemotherapy.

Understanding the bushmeat market: Why do people risk infection from bat meat?

Posted: 09 Oct 2014 06:19 AM PDT

Ebola, as with many emerging infections, is likely to have arisen due to human interaction with wild animals -- most likely the practice of hunting and eating wild meat known as 'bushmeat.' A team of researchers has surveyed almost 600 people across southern Ghana to find out what drives consumption of bat bushmeat -- and how people perceive the risks associated with the practice.

Why men are the weaker sex when it comes to bone health

Posted: 09 Oct 2014 06:19 AM PDT

Alarming new data shows that one-third of all hip fractures worldwide occur in men, with mortality rates as high as 37 percent in the first year following fracture. This makes men twice as likely as women to die after a hip fracture. Osteoporosis experts warn that as men often remain undiagnosed and untreated, millions are left vulnerable to early death and disability, irrespective of fracture type.

Mining big data yields Alzheimer's discovery

Posted: 09 Oct 2014 06:17 AM PDT

A new way of working to identify a new gene linked to neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's has been used by researchers. The discovery fills in another piece of the jigsaw when it comes to identifying people most at risk of developing the condition.

Nanoparticle research could enhance drug delivery through skin

Posted: 09 Oct 2014 06:16 AM PDT

Key characteristics that enhance a nanoparticle's ability to penetrate skin have been identified by researchers in a milestone study that could have major implications for the delivery of drugs. Nanoparticles are up to 100,000 times smaller than the thickness of a human hair and drugs delivered using them as a platform, can be more concentrated, targeted and efficient than those delivered through traditional means.

Combatting periodontal pathogens

Posted: 09 Oct 2014 06:16 AM PDT

Periodontitis is a common ailment. If the inflammation remains untreated, it could lead to tooth loss. However, it is also suspected of triggering many other diseases, like cardiopulmonary diseases. Researchers are studying the interactions, and developing compounds to combat the causative agents.

Pregnant women with psychiatric conditions require higher doses of neuroleptics

Posted: 09 Oct 2014 06:16 AM PDT

The new generation of neuroleptics for psychiatric conditions has the advantage over older medications of fewer adverse side effects. An investigation into their effectiveness in pregnant women has now discovered that higher doses are needed during pregnancy to maintain the desired effect.

RNA molecules found in urine, tissue that detect prostate cancer

Posted: 09 Oct 2014 06:03 AM PDT

Potential biomarkers may pave way to a more sensitive, specific, and non-invasive prostate cancer screening assay, according to a report. Today, prostate cancer is primarily detected and monitored by testing for high concentrations of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) in blood samples. The researchers believe that they have identified a group of RNA molecules that hold the potential for serving as better prognostic markers for prostate cancer.

Workplace violence in the health sector: What are the consequences?

Posted: 09 Oct 2014 06:03 AM PDT

Exposure to violence in the workplace can lead to serious consequences for health sector employees say researchers, who studied this issue in a systematic review of the literature.

Experimental rapid test could tell sinusitis sufferers if they need antibiotics - or just patience

Posted: 09 Oct 2014 06:03 AM PDT

Each year, 36 million people with chronic congestion and runny noses seek treatment from their primary care physicians. Without a way for doctors to easily distinguish viral from bacterial infections, more than half of patients will end up getting antibiotics for an infection that they don't actually have. The invention of a rapid, in-office test, based on bacterial biomarkers, could help physicians identify the infections that need antibiotics while helping reduce the growing problem of antibiotic resistance.

Increased health risks linked to first-episode psychosis

Posted: 08 Oct 2014 05:39 PM PDT

Many patients with psychosis develop health risks associated with premature death early in the course of their mental illness. Patients with schizophrenia are already known to have higher rates of premature death than the general population. Elevated risks of heart disease and metabolic issues such as high blood sugar in people with first episode psychosis are due to an interaction of mental illness, unhealthy lifestyle behaviors and antipsychotic medications that may accelerate these risks, experts say.

Support for Medicaid expansion strong among low-income adults

Posted: 08 Oct 2014 05:39 PM PDT

Low-income adults overwhelmingly support Medicaid expansion and think the government-sponsored program offers health care coverage that is comparable to or even better in quality than private health insurance coverage, according to a new study.

Skin exposure may contribute to early risk for food allergies

Posted: 08 Oct 2014 05:37 PM PDT

Many children may become allergic to peanuts before they first eat them, and skin exposure may be contribute to early sensitization, according to a study in mice. Early in the process of developing an allergy, skin exposure to food allergens contributes to 'sensitization', which means the skin is reactive to an antigen, such as peanuts, especially by repeated exposure.

Community justice court associated with lower rearrest rates

Posted: 08 Oct 2014 05:37 PM PDT

Community justice courts, which bring judges and social services into neighborhoods with high crime rates, are a novel approach to address low-level criminal offenders. A study of such a court in a in a high-crime area of San Francisco found the approach was associated with a lower chance that offenders would be arrested for another crime within a year.

Timing of epidural is up to the mother

Posted: 08 Oct 2014 05:37 PM PDT

When a woman is in labor, the appropriate time to give an epidural during childbirth is when she asks for it, a new study suggests. A systematic review compared early and late epidurals during labor and found that they had very similar effects.

Gene therapy shows promise for severe combined immunodeficiency

Posted: 08 Oct 2014 05:37 PM PDT

Gene therapy using a modified delivery system, or vector, can restore the immune systems of children with X-linked severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID-X1), a rare, life-threatening inherited condition that primarily affects boys, researchers have discovered.

Healthy lifestyle may cut stroke risk in half for women

Posted: 08 Oct 2014 05:35 PM PDT

Women with a healthy diet and lifestyle may be less likely to have a stroke by more than half, according to a study. The study looked at five factors that make up a healthy lifestyle: healthy diet; moderate alcohol consumption; never smoking; physically active; and healthy body mass index (BMI). Compared with women with none of the five healthy factors, women with all five factors had a 54-percent lower risk of stroke.

More appropriate use of cardiac stress testing with imaging could reduce health costs, improve patient outcomes

Posted: 08 Oct 2014 05:35 PM PDT

Overuse of cardiac stress testing with imaging has led to rising healthcare costs and unnecessary radiation exposure to patients, a study has concluded. Cardiac stress testing, particularly with imaging, has been the focus of debate about rising health care costs, inappropriate use, and patient safety in the context of radiation exposure, researchers note.

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